First Published: 2004-10-14

 
Spain urges new UN resolution on WSahara
 

Spanish FM says new UN resolution on Western Sahara should restart process of resolving its status.

 

Middle East Online

Madrid trying to help find a solution to Western Sahara issue

TANGIERS, Morocco - A new UN resolution on Western Sahara should give new impetus to efforts to finally resolve the status of the former Spanish territory that was annexed by Morocco in 1975, Spanish Foreign Minister Angel Moratinos said Wednesday.

"It won't be easy, certain parties want to keep the resolution more technical. But we want a resolution that gathers as much of a consensus as possible and allows the United Nations ... to work towards relaunching the process" of resolving the status of Western Sahara, he said.

Morocco annexed neighboring Western Sahara on its independence from Spain in 1975 despite a World Court ruling in favour of autonomy for the territory.

UN efforts to resolve the situation have stalled since Morocco refused a plan drawn up by its special envoy, former US secretary of state James Baker.

The UN Security Council unanimously backed last year the so-called Baker plan under which Western Sahara would enjoy a large degree of autonomy during a five-year transition period followed by a referendum on self-rule.

Moratinos said the resolution should be finished so it could be considered by the Security Council at meeting scheduled later this month and allow UN Secretary General Kofi Annan's envoy to the region, Alvaro De Soto, to "create a new dynamic" in efforts to find a solution.

The issue has returned to the forefront after South Africa last month extended diplomatic recognition to Western Sahara, or the Sahrawi Republic of Western Sahara.

Speaking during a visit to Tunisia on Wednesday, South African President Thabo Mbeki said it was the UN that would need to take the lead in solving the issue of Western Sahara.

"We are all in agreement of leaving the problem of Western Sahara in the hands of the secretary general of the United Nations, Mr Kofi Annan," said Mbeki.

The question of Western Sahara has strained relations between Morocco and neighbor Algeria, which backed the Polisario Front movement seeking independence for the territory bordering the Atlantic between Mauritania and Morocco.

 

Syria Foreign Minister in Iran to discuss situation in Middle East

Nusra Front captures more US-trained rebels in northwestern Syria

Yemen retakes biggest airbase from rebels

'New PKK attacks' target security forces in southeastern Turkey

Mediterranean migrant deaths reach tragic milestone in 2015

Violence in Yemen pushes health system to the brink of collapse

Israel court orders extremist Jewish leader to be kept in detention

Suspect in Kuwait mosque attack admits affiliation with ISIS

Head of Taliban's Qatar office quits as leadership rift deepens

Amnesty accuses Sudan of 'war crimes' in South Kordofan

Officials in Damascus play down US warning to Syria regime

Turkish air strikes increase pressure on Iraq Kurdish leadership

British oil company investigated for Somalia corruption

EU to Turkey: Be proportionate in your response to PKK

Two Turkish soldiers killed in new PKK attack

Britain extends air strikes in Iraq by a year

US may take 'additional steps' to defend allied fighters in Syria

Israel ex-security chiefs to Netanyahu: Accept Iran deal as ‘fait accompli’

Turkey will do 'whatever necessary' in fight against militants

US agrees to ‘expedite’ arms sales to Gulf countries

President of Iraq Kurdistan vows to avenge Yazidi minority

PKK claims deadly suicide bombing against troops in eastern Turkey

Sudan rebels offered guarantees to attend talks

Pro-Hadi forces target rebel-held base as coalition forces enter Aden

Israel's president threatened over 'Jewish Terrorism' comments

French beach returns to public after departure of Saudi King

Syria army plane crashes in rebel-held town of Ariha

Iran bans newspaper owned by nuclear deal critic

More Yemen refugees look for shelter in Djibouti

Erdogan: Putin may give up on Assad

Yemen rebel leader says political settlement still possible

Egypt leader amends electoral law

Saudi king cuts short French Riviera holiday

Kerry in Qatar for talks on Iran nuclear deal

UAE prosecutor refers 41 people to trial on terrorism charges

Kerry to Middle East allies: Iran deal will make region safer

Egypt court again postpones verdict in retrial of Jazeera reporters

Al-Nusra Front releases video to show ‘capture’ of US-trained rebels

Israel faces mounting pressure after baby killing in arson attack

'PKK suicide attack' kills two soldiers in eastern Turkey

Egypt court postpones verdict on brother of Ayman al-Zawahiri

Immigration surpasses economy as major concern in Europe

Plane crash kills family members of Bin Laden

Iraq protesters vent anger over poor services

ISIS flexes muscles in eastern Libya